Californian gadget maker Apple may have changed its business model to  help take its iconic handset to the mass market, but it also looks like the company is clamping down on iPhone hackers and box breakers.

Although the iPhone 3G will be available in more than 70 countries, it won’t be available on all networks, and some carriers, like O2 in the UK and Orange in France, still have exclusivity agreements. And it is these markets that will be hit hardest by Apple’s attempts to keep a tight leash on the device.

Vodafone Italy revealed on Thursday that a prepay version of the 8GB iPhone will weigh in at a hefty Eur499, which the 16GB version will cost Eur569. That may price most prepay users out of the market, but it will also mean that consumers don’t buy the device to use on other networks and box breakers don’t sell the units elsewhere.

A rumour doing the rounds at the moment also suggests Apple has changed its activation process from the DIY with iTunes approach, to a system which will see consumers leave the store with an activated device.